loaf of thought - april '21

a monthly digest of ideas, opinions, and updates… accompanied by recommendations on things to listen to, things to watch, and things to read.

Welcome to the first episode(?) of Loaf of Thought! Also welcome to April 2021. I had to wait a few days to make sure I wasn’t hallucinating because time seems to be warping this year. Just a year ago we were entering a worldwide lockdown and now I’m vaccinated and also an introvert. Funny how that turned out… I think they forgot to mention a few side effects. 

i’m feeling lucky

First and foremost, let me introduce the monthly Spotify playlist I’ll be curating. (Honestly my favorite part) I updated this as of yesterday and it should hold up for a good sunset walk, drive to work, or procrastinative daydream. Please tell me if you like a certain song or the whole playlist! Also send me music; it’s a mutually beneficial experience, I promise. 

When I thought about writing a newsletter/blog/whatever-this-is… I had to brainstorm ideas of how I would write and also what I would talk about. Funnily enough, one of the most pressing internal battles I had to overcome was the decision to keep Auto Caps on or not. For those of you that text me frequently, you might realize that I type in all lowercase. Why? Well, long-story-short… I’m edgy like that. To tell the longer story, I’ll refer to an article that explains the larger phenomenon of turning off Auto Caps and embracing the lowercase. You’ve obviously realized that this newsletter is in “normal-human-being mode”, so you’re welcome. I’ll keep capitalizing just for you needy, proper folks. 

Back to why Loaf of Thought exists… We live in a world that’s so oversaturated with digital realms and instant gratification. The words “social media” and “news outlet” and “journalism” all blend into one another. As someone who has gone deep into creating Instagram posts, frequently curating Tweets, and also chatting on a podcast. I’ve found it difficult to pinpoint how to properly and efficiently release the thoughts in my head. Out of the three, podcasting seemed to be the most ideal; how can talking for 40 mins be bad, right? Well turns out it takes a little more effort than that and moreover, keeping up with a weekly schedule got hectic. So here we are, on Substack. The “new” thing. I haven’t written for pleasure since the 4th grade so this might be a rough start, but trying new things is good for the soul, so why not?

zoom zombies

Caught in a world where we all turn into Zoom Zombies, it’s important to find things that embrace our creative sides and let the mind run wild. But sometimes creativity will fade and I’ll hit a wall. It also doesn’t help that creativity is an “in the moment” thing. You either (thankfully) find yourself in the moment, wait for the moment, or somehow magically do a rain dance to manifest the moment. Whichever creativity-fiend you may be, you could use a little help from a “User Manual for Creativity”.

It’s also very convenient that I can link you to certain things I’ve found over the last few weeks. I tend to gather a multitude of resources, articles, videos, sounds, etc and it’s very nice to be able to share them in an efficient way. For this, I should thank the person who invented the hyperlink

non-fungible tokens

Speaking of creativity, I’ve been intrigued by the world of NFTs. Some of you are probably sick of me talking about NFTs at this point. I’ll save you my fascination and let you read about them here. In brevity, NFTs are a form of blockchain cryptocurrency art that have taken over the digital art scene in the last year or so. Not only is it similar to art collection as we know it, the NFT market also allows artists to place value on their art while also creating mass demand for certain pieces. NFTs operate on a blockchain so they are bought by using cryptocurrencies like Etherium and RARI. As somewhat of an artist/designer, I’m immensly fascinated by the hype around NFTs solely because of the value placed on certain pieces of art. Since art is subjective as a whole, a mere photograph or colorful animation can be sold for millions. Insane and confusing, I know. It doesn’t help that the NFT world takes a huge dump on the environment due to heavy processing power. Through my own subjectivity, I deem very few of these pieces worth of their price tag, and most of them as outrageous bids. A few exceptions, like this one, are very beautiful, in my opinion. Yet it makes you think if the final bid is really worth it.

celebrating the small victories

One of the most important lessons I’ve learned over the last few weeks is to celebrate the small victories. Whether it’s making your bed in the morning or making a good meal or making it through the week, it’s always important to recognize the things that make you feel the slightest bit good. In a world where it’s easy to drown in anxiousness and let an email ruin your day, all of us have micro victories that we let go unnoticed. I used to write a short segment in my journal called “What do my next few weeks look like?” When I look back in my journal from a month ago, it’s refreshing to see at least one of those things on the list completed.

It’s important to see how life moves forward whether we like it or not. But without a doubt and thankfully enough, we move along with it. We just get lost in the move that we forget to cherish the progress we’ve made.

Sometimes we need a reminder to not be so hard on ourselves when we mess up. With summer around the corner and life in full speed, be sure to keep your time - and mind - organized.

link dump:

Would you like to be confused by 2 hands and a deck of cards? Yes you would.

A list of things vaccinated people still cannot do.

A man who can guess exactly where you are solely from a selfie.

Pretty pink furniture? Yes please.

If you have side effects from your vaccine doses it might be a good thing.

Aside from assigned essays on urban design and emails to potential (not-so-potential) employers, writing can be fulfilling. This newsletter has helped me find that fulfillment and has allowed me to share random things as I please. Drop me a line if you found something interesting or want to tell me to stop. Either ways, I’ll leave you with a bit of happiness painted on trees. Almost literally.

have a lovely april, folks.